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tv   Nightly Business Report  PBS  October 3, 2012 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT

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>> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening everyone, i'm sie arib. american companies added more workers than expected in september, according to a private payrolls report. we'll talk to one of the economists behind the report. >> tom: i'm tom hudson. tonight is the first presidential debate, and the economy will be front and center. what are the important economic numbers to listen for? >> susie: and metro p.c.s. says "hello" to t-mobile, in a merger that will make t-mobile the fourth largest wireless carrier in the country. >> tom: that and more tonight on "n.b.r."! >> susie: private sector hiring was surprisingly perky in
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september. that's according to data out just two days before the government's crucial and more complete monthly jobs report. payroll processor a.d.p. said employers added 162,000 jobs last month, stronger than expected. but the pace is slowing, and numbers for july and august were revised lower. still, there are signs the job market is improving, but no where close to replenishing the jobs lost in the great recession. suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: few things would make more americans happy than a healthy job market. from recent college grads to president obama, their future might look more certain if companies really ramped up hiring. economists say there's too much uncertainty on the horizon for that to happen any time soon. the good news is that firms have stopped cutting jobs. the bad news is they're still too nervous to hire more than a handful of new workers. friday, economists predict the september employment report will show a modest 113,000 new
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positions were added, barely better than august. still, some believe current data underestimates what's really happening with hiring. >> the perception of the labor market is probably more like a world where we're adding 150,000 jobs a month, which isn't good, but certainly better than the numbers are printing which is only around 100,000 or so. >> reporter: anecdotal evidence supports that assessment too. this new york staffing firm primarily places workers in administrative jobs, and says it's finding the market surprisingly strong. today, good candidates are quickly turning temporary positions into full time jobs. >> i'd say it's really good. i'd say it's definitely bounced back from the recession in 2009. i'd say a lot of people are hiring. we would classify it definitely as a candidates market, meaning the candidates are sort of the ones that are calling the shots right now. >> reporter: unfortunately, on a nationwide scale we're still a long way from robust hiring.
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and, that means we're probably years away from the unemployment rate at a more healthy level of 6% or even 7%. suzanne pratt, "n.b.r.," new york. >> tom: the september jobs report wasn't the only encouraging economic statistic. the services-sector of the economy picked up the pace of growth. institute of supply management non-manufacturing index increased to just above 55 last month, that's up almost a 1.5 from august. anything above 50 means business is expanding. today's positive news led to modest gains for wall street. the dow gained 12.5, the nasdaq is up 15, and the s&p gained five. >> susie: the job outlook is important not only for investors, but for voters and the presidential candidates who will be talking about jobs in their first debate tonight. joining us now is one of the economists who put together the data for today's jobs report: joel prakken, chairman of macro-
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economic advisers. you know, joel, we regularly get revisions on these kinds of statistics about the job market. so what is your take on the picture, the true picture of the job market? what do you think, is it perking up? >> recent data produced either by adp or the bureau of labor statistics suggests that employment is growing, but grudgingly slow. today's number, for example, from the adp national employment report of 162,000 gain in jobs in september would barely be enough, if enough, to push the unemployment rate down this month. so we're making progress, it's painfully slow. the hole we're in is very deep, we're climbing out at a very slow pace. we need to do more. >> susie: the number that is supposed to come out on friday most economists are pricting it will be around 128,000 new jobs created works the unemployment rate notching up to 8.2%.
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with the unemployment rate above 8%, what impact will that have on the outcome for the election? >> well, it wouldn't be a surprise if the unemployment rate was at 8% on friday, it's been hovering in that range for some time already. normally you would argue that an unemployment rate this high in an economy growing this weakly would be very bad news for an incumbent president. it's somewhat vicing then that president obama has maintained the slight edge in the polls given how weak the economy is, but certainly weak growth, high unemployment are not good for anyone in elected office and are are not good for anyone looking for a job either. >> susie: you know, tonight obviously in the debate president obama and governor romney will be talking about the job market do. you expect them to give any kind of plan to jolt the labor market and to get that unemployment rate down drastically? >> i think both candidates are likely to be somewhat vague in
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their discussion of proposals to great jobs. if i were asking the question, i think the one that i with like to hear answered most would be, what are you going to do about the approaching fiscal cliff if we go over the fiscal cliff, if we plunge over the highest bluff along the fiscal cliff, it's very likely the economy will fall into recession and the unemployment rate instead of being 8 at the end of next year will be above 9. so the first thing that any elected official needs to do in 2013 is prevent job losses by doing something about the fiscal cliff. >> susie: are you predicting a recession? >> no, we're not. we do think that in a crisis environment at the 11th hour, some sort of arrangement will be made that will delay the fiscal contraction that's on the books now. so that the economy will continue to grow in the first half of next year, but at a slow pace. >> susie: thanks, joel. joel prakken, chairman of
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macro economic advisors. >> tom: still ahead, what's worse than training somebody and having them leave? not training somebody and having them stay. an on the job training program designed to create new jobs. in just a few hours, president obama and governor mitt romney will face off in the first presidential debate. as both candidates fight for votes, each has clear objectives: governor romney needs to rebuild momentum for his campaign, and the president is looking to widen his lead in the polls. to do it, they're each using their own sets of numbers. darren gersh breaks them down, and tells you what you need to know about them. >> reporter: for challenger mitt romney, tonight's debate is his best chancto sell hielf to voters who are still undecided. and one way to do that is to focus less on facts and aggressive debate tactics and worry more about coming across as someone voters can be comfortable with. >> i would tell him, don't think too much. be yourself. if you're yourself, you will come off as authentic.
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authentic is more important than anything else. >> reporter: still, a few numbers might help. starting with $16 trillion, that's the current level of the national debt on president obama's watch. on top of that, president's latest budget would admore than $6 trillion to the debt over the coming decade. >> the interest on that debt alone is going to cost taxpayers, cost the middle class taxpayer about $1,400 a year just to service the debt. >> reporter: in the debate tonight, the president will keep reminding voters to compare where the economy is now with what he inherited. that's why you are going to hear about the almost 800,000 people who were being thrown out of work each month when the president took office. the president will then tell the turnaround story. >> he'll point to 30 straight months of private sector job growth, over those0 months, he'll point to five million jobs that were created. i think that's the key case he's going to make tonight. >> reporter: governor romney might point out that household earnings have fallen for two years in a row. but the president can point to the last republican to hold the oval office.
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>> if you just look at what we've been doing over the last two and a half years, it's actually a pretty reasonable jobs record. for example, it is a faster job growth rate than what we saw under bush at the same point in his presidency. >> reporter: if history is any guide, the presidential debates won't be remembered for the facts and figures each side brings to bear. they'll be remembered for the gaffe or the human moment when voters see the real person behind the candidate. darren gersh, "n.b.r.," washington. >> susie: t-mobile and metro p.c.s. are teaming up to form the nation's fourth largest
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wireless carrier. it will have more than 42 million subscribers. the deal comes one year after anti-trust regulators gave a thumbs down to an a.t.&t. and t- mobile merger, for being too big. but as ruben ramirez reports, this time around the deal will be under scrutiny for another reason. >> reporter: it's a marriage perhaps more of convenience than of equals between t-mobile and metro p.c.s. the deal gives t-mobile access to metro p.c.s.'s treasure trove of wireless spectrum in urban areas. it also opens up a new segment of customers in the wireless subscriber market. >> they're not really trying to compete so much with verizon and at&t, as they are trying to create a viable competitor at the low end of the market. >> reporter: but chasing the low-income consumer is big business, because of that, the deal could face regulatory roadblocks for different reasons. >> i think this merger will be carefully scrutinized because of the impact on low-income consumers.
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those are the most vulnerable consumers with the fewest alternatives. the justice department is going to look at that very carefully and to the extent that they see a competitive problem, they'll require divestitures to protect those consumers. >> reporter: the new company will keep the t-mobile name, analysts say don't be surprised if sprint makes a counter bid for metro p.c.s. before the ink on its deal wth t-mobile is dry. ruben ramirez, "n.b.r.," new york. >> tom: it was a tough summer for monsanto, but the company said just wait until next year. the company lost more money than feared in its most recent arter. that sent monsanto shares down more than 2%. they were at multi-year highs last week. as for next year, monsanto told investors seed sales should jump. diane eastabrook has details. >> reporter: analysts say monsanto's fourth quarter earnings took a hit because farmers purchased the bulk of their corn and soybean seeds earlier this year. excluding special items, monsanto lost $.44 a share in
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the quarter that ended august 31, double what it lost in the same quarter last year, and bigger than analysts expected. but the company thinks t bad news ends there. monsanto forecast seed sales to increase just shy of 20% in the current fiscal year. analysts think that's a reachable target because international sales should be strong and u.s. farmers will be rebounding from last summer's drought. >> in terms of impact of the drought grains stocks are low so corn and soybeans and the other seeds that they sell are going to need to be planted in great quantities so that should also deliver growth. >> reporter: werneth thinks even if the economies here and abroad worsen next year, monsanto should still reap solid profits because in good times and bad, people and animals still have to eat. diane eastabrook, "n.b.r.," chicago.
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>> susie: a new innovation coming soon to target. shoppers won't need to wait in the check out line to make a purchase: they will be able to scan and buy exclusive toys on shelves at the front of the store. the plan lets customers scan codes with their smartphones, and get the items shipped for free. the new strategy starts in about two weeks, just in time for the crucial holiday shopping season. target is counting on this strategy to boost holiday sales. >> tom: stocks edged higher after the encouraging report on new jobs and stronger service
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sector activity. it took the positive data on demand for services to get the s&p 500 moving decisively higher after hitting its low for the session when the report was released. the index finished up by 0.4%. trading volume picked up slightly from yesterday's pace. 664 million on the big board. 1.7 billion on the nasdaq. with a mger in the tecommunications industr that sector hathe biggest gains among the top stock sectors, up 1.1%. the biggest drag: the energy sector, down 1.1%. but inside the dow jones industrial average, it was hewlett-packard getting plenty of attention. it's double digit stock drop pushed shares down to a nine year low. the stock fell hard, down 13%. volume was very heavy, more than 140 million shares traded, almost six times its average daily trading pace. c.e.o. meg whitman surprised investors by warning of a deeper than expected slide in earnings next year. revenue in all of its business divisions except for software is expected to fall. >> h.p. has done a bad job adjusting to where the business
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environment is headed. we see stagnating revenue, we see things actually getting worse next year relative to what analysts expected and that's not necessarily something cost cutting can save in and of itself. >> tom: those job cuts will total 29,000 when they're done. h.p. also vowed to reduce the number of products it sells, and c.e.o. whitman said the biggest challenge has been c.e.o. turnover. she's the third chief executive in as many year. h.p.'s news hit others with stakes in the personal computer business. dell stock fell 4.8% hitting a three-and-a-half year low. semiconductor maker intel was down 1.3%. meantime, home improvement retailer home depot continues building its share price. it was the best percentage gainer of the dow industrials, up 2.4%, closing at an eleven- and-a-half year high. optimism surrounding the housing market has clearly helped home depot, and today's data on job creation helps optimism about housing. we saw that with several homebuilr stocks.
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lear jumped 6.9%, d.r. horn gained 6.2%, and pulte group rose 6%. there was a jump in mortgage applications in the past week, adding to optimism about housing. one more note related to real estate. residential mortgage servicing firm ocwen financial hit a new high all time today. ocwen will spend $750 million in cash and stock to buy a privately held mortgage servicer. ocwen shares have almost tripled in the past year as it has been buying mortgage servicing businesses, managing mortgage payments and foreclosures for lenders. oil prices were falling down even as the u.s. had some encouragg economic news. instead, weak data from europe and china pushed crude down. among the noteworthy energy stocks also lower: oil servicing firm f.m.c. technologies falling 4.3%, energy services company halliburton was down 3.1%, and chevron fell 1.5%. chevron remains less than a dollar below its most recent 52 week high set last month. three of the five most actively
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traded exchange traded products made small gains. the nasdaq 100 tracking fund put in the biggest gain, up 0.3%. and that's tonight's "market focus." economy, earnings, election, tonight's street critique guest is mark watson of keel management. always great to see you. what is the shape of the economy? is this an economy you really want to take investment risk
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in? >> we actually think this is the time to start absorbing more risk. you see that even in some of the style indices, contrarian strategies are just now starting to do better because of the liquidity that we're awash in and also the fact that i think we are getting job growth, albeit slowly. things are improving. >> tom: that's the economy. the earnings play here is pet >> tom: that's the economy. the earnings play here is pet smarlx a nice rally and gained momentum back in late may when it raised its financial outlook and this friday will be added to the s&p 500 him so what's the earnings outlook for pet smart? >> so we think it continues to be strong. remember, this company has had 7% comps, and lauishing economic growth. part of the reasons their competition is so weak. either their debt laid ep or have other organizational issues. so our expectation is that the economy does improve that
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they'll get even stronger. one of the systemic things they're doing is increasing the amount of services, they've bumped up 8% of sales four years ago to close to 11 and that should continue. it high marriage inbusiness, so we're fairly confident the numbers will keep going up. >> tom: we will spare no expense on those pets as you know. your election may is an interestg one, sei investments, a company that manages investments, provides investment services to banks and others as well. it sold off reaply, but how is that an election play? >> well, part of it is our outlook is that we think capital spending will pick up once there's clarity with respect to tax policy and deficit spending. and until we see that, there will be a holdback, which there has been in capital spending. after the election those issues should be resolved so we're looking for very robust 2013 market wise. the other piece of this is we really have not had a steady
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inflow in equity funds since 07 defight the market performance. and that's not true of fixed income, we expect that to actually come to fruition. >> tom: okay. some money to come off out of fixed income maybe into stocks, with sei. >> absolutely. >> tom: let's take a look at your previous picks, right after valentine's day february 15 we saw you, american capital a private equity public trad company up 30% plus. city national up 9%. do you still like these? >> definitely. believe it or not, american capital still trading at three times earnings, despite its appreciation. and it's a perfect play on mid cap companies in the u.s. and certainly monies cheap too. so it's a great way to play the recovery. >> tom: mark, do you own position in all four of the stocks we mentioned tonight? >> yes, we do. >> tom: mark watson, street critique with keel asset management.
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>> susie: tomorrow on "n.b.r." we'll get wall street's reaction to the presidential debates and the impact on the markets, and the economy. plus, we'll get a closer look at the federal reserve's take on the economy when it releases the minutes from its latest policy meeting. and this restaurant chain could be the future of fast food for healthy eaters, we'll talk to the man behind "lyfe kitchens". >> tom: by the looks of today's jobs data, companies stepped up their hiring last month. we'll see the official government numbers on friday. despite the stubbornly higher unemployment rate and millions of people looking for work, a common challenge cited by companies across industries is not finding qualified workers. that's one of the reasons we're looking at job training efforts this week. sean kearney is headed out to fix an air conditioner. it's part detective work, part technical know-how, know-how kearney received while on the job at good air in hollywood, florida. >> with the training they provided it just gave me a whole new life and a whole new vigor
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and ready to go and, uh, and i am learning something new every day just like when i started with heat and air. >> reporter: kerney's employer, good air, used a program from workforce one, a federally funded group based in broward county, florida. in this program you start with a job. mason jackson is the c.e.o. >> quite frankly once employers have made the investment in you and they've decided you're a good employee and they want to keep you on, it's actually to their advantage to keep you on rather than to try and retain another person. >> reporter: here's how it works. a company like good air hires a new worker. workforce one pays a portion of the new employee's salary for up to three months as they are trained. in return, the company promises to keep that new employee on its payroll for at least one additional month. good air has used the program to add 12 workers to its payroll, doubling its workforce. >> it's a healthy program for the economy it's healthy for the employer and it's terrific for the unemployed, and we are taking folks that don't want to be on unemployment and don't
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want to be looking for a job they sincerely looking for a place to work, their hard workers and we are able to bring them in and do a great job. >> employers like to have plug and play employees. they're really resistance to do their own training. we hear from the employers that the unemployed people out there don't have the right set of skills, and partly that's because the nature of jobs is changing all the time. i say fine you take that person you train them and we'll help offset the cost. >> tom: florida's unemployment rate, at 8.8%, is higher than the national rate of 8.1%, and florida's unemployed stay on the sidelines much longer, going an average of 50 weeks between jobs. even though its impossible to tell how much this on-the-job training program has impacted the overall job market, the agency says it has pledged more than one million dollars since july, helping fund hundreds of new jobs across industries. >>y having this opportunity here just opened up a whole- nuther avenue for me here, it was it was, it was perfect. >> tom: tomorrow we'll have more on job training. u.s. job openings are at a
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three-year high, find out where the work is, and what skills are in demand. >> susie: when younger workers have trouble finding a job, it's not just tough on their finances, it puts a strain on their parents' wallets too. in tonight's money file, how to make a financial comeback when your adult kids take too long to leave the nest. here's money magazine senior writer, donna rosato. >> if today's tight job market has put your empty-nest fantasies on hold, you're not alone. three in 10 kids age 25 to 34 are living with their parents. the good news is that the kids do eventually get a job and move out, but that time at home isn't so great for the parental finances, leaving many empty nesters with more debt and less savings heading into retirement. here are some ways to pad your nest egg once the kids move out. first, redirect the money you were spending on the kids toward catch-up contributions to your 401(k) and i.r.a.s. if you and your spouse are over
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50, you can each put away an additional $5,500 in your 401(k) and $1,000 in your i.r.a.s. next, reinvest your home equity. if you were already thinking about downsizing to a cheaper home when you retire, make the move now and invest the money you save. you're bound to do better investing it than betting on a big appreciation in the price of your home. finally, you may be able to cut back on life and auto insurance coverage if your kids are no longer financially dependent. cut those costs and you can bank the savings. i'm donna rosato. >> susie: that's "nightly business report" for wednesday, october 3. tom you probably remember four years ago today was the begining of that tarp plan to save the banks, but it's not the kind of anniversary that many american taxpayers will be celebrating. >> tom: no, dark days back in the fall of 2008, on the way down to that market bottom we saw in the spring of 2009. >> susie: have a great evening everyone, and you too tom. >> tom: you as well. wee got more coverage on
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